Michael Denton

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Michael John Denton (1943–) is a British-Australian intelligent design proponent, best known for writing Evolution: A Theory in Crisis.


He has a PhD in biochemistry from King's College London. His work and publications have not met any positive views from the scientific community — other than pseudoscience promoters. At first Denton made many claims in his first publication Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, but his later publication, Nature's Destiny, contradicted many of his previous views.


Denton in his book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis opposed the neo-Darwinian mechanisms of evolution as he claimed there was no gradualism in the fossil record; however he still advocated natural selection which he believed (similar to many creationists) could explain only microevolution. His main argument was against natural evolutionary theories, as in the book he wrote that evolution cannot explain the biodiversity of life by chance, and instead he wrote that evolution would have to be directed by intelligence from the start of life. Denton however has also denied being a creationist, as he instead believes in a form of intelligent design mixed with a guided evolution process.[1][2]

In his book Natures Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe he defended the theory of evolution but denied that it could have come about randomly or by chance and instead proposes that it is directed and "designed". The book advocates non-Darwinian evolution and a fine-tuned universe. Denton does not deny common descent, which distinguishes him from most intelligent design proponents (with the exception of Mike Behe).[3]


Religious creationists have claimed that Denton is 'an agnostic that has no religious beliefs and that he is a non-creationist.[4][5] However in his book Natures Destiny he does propose that there is a supernatural intelligence that started the cosmos which has directed evolution, and some reviewers still believe he is a theist.[6] Denton has been described as an intelligent design advocate by most scientists.

Even though Denton believes evolution is directed and designed, he denies vitalism or the belief in any metaphysical force is directing evolution. According to Denton it was directed in a one-off event. Because of this he has been called a deist by some writers.[7][8] Other writers have described Denton's book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis as a creationist book and that Denton is advocating a theological view of science.[9]


The scientific community has rejected Denton's claims, yet he has had many positive reviews from creationists and intelligent design advocates.


  • Evolution: A Theory in Crisis Alder & Alder (1985)
  • Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe New York: Free Press (1998).

External links[edit]


  1. Michael Denton and Birds’ Lungs
  2. Reviews: "Evolution: A Theory In Crisis" by Michael Denton
  3. Michael Denton's Nature's Destiny
  4. Interview with Michael Denton
  5. Creationist Article
  6. Article on Michael Denton's book
  7. Nature's Destiny A review by Gert Korthof
  8. "So the theological view Denton argues for is at most like deism or pantheism, where divine agency is required to get the universe going, but any miraculous deviation from lawlike and mechanical behavior is prohibited once the universe is in motion. It is, however, distinct from pantheism and some varieties of deism in that it takes the production of familiar and anthropomorphic life as the raison d'être of the universe." Link
  9. Review: "Evolution — A Theory in Crisis"